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Ahmad Azim

Undergraduate Major: Photonic Science & Engineering

Future Plans: Ph.D. in Optical Physics

Ahmad Azim

Ahmad Azim was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. He immigrated at the age of 5 to the United States and grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Photonic Science & Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. Ahmad conducts research at the Laser Plasma Laboratory as part of the laser development team in CREOL, the College of Optics & Photonics. Currently, his research interests include temporal and spatial coherent combining of laser pulses for generating high-energy, high-power ultrafast lasers for applications in plasma and atomic physics. Ahmad is currently working on the development of a novel picosecond pump laser for a quasi-single-cycle optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifier system using multidimensional coherent pulse addition.

Multidimensional coherent pulse addition of bulk crystal laser amplifiers

Conducted at the University of Central, Florida

Mentors: Drs. Lawrence Shah and Martin Richardson, CREOL, College of Optics & Photonics

Abstract: Fundamental limitations of single-aperture laser amplifiers include gain saturation, damage thresholds and nonlinear phenomena. Two techniques have become critical for overcoming these limitations known as coherent beam combining (CBC) and divided-pulse amplification (DPA). CBC involves spatially multiplexing laser beams into multiple amplifier channels allowing for optically synchronized average power scaling, overcoming the limited extractable energy of a single amplifier. The temporal analog, DPA, involves temporal multiplexing of a pulse into a burst in order to effectively reduce the intensity of the laser in order to avoid reaching damage and nonlinear thresholds in a laser amplifier, thus also allowing effective peak power scaling. Spatiotemporal pulse recombination, referred to as multidimensional coherent pulse addition, has recently been successfully applied to ultrafast fiber lasers which has dramatically improved their energy and power outputs. This study aims to apply these two methods successfully in a non-waveguide amplifier system, specifically flashlamp-pumped Nd:YAG crystal rod amplifiers which can produce incredibly high pulse energies in the multijoule regime. Additionally, we explore the experimental demonstration of indirect phase-locking of a sub-kilohertz pulse repetition frequency laser using the LOCSET stabilization method through a co-propagating CW pilot laser. Such a system paves the way for the next generation of high-energy picosecond OPCPA pump lasers.